Bill Belichick took his Patriots back in time before sending them off for the summer.
As Mike Reiss of ESPN reports, the head coach set up something of a football history lesson for his players on Thursday digging in to the very roots of the game. There were leather helmets on the practice field, the digital clocks were covered and they even ate like players did back in 1930’s and 40’s eating hamburgers and hot dogs rather than the more healthy options they have now.
Along with the old school props and different grub, the Patriots even watched some old black and white film of the game ranging from high school to the pros.
“The thing I’ve learned about Coach Belichick is that he loves history, loves the military, and any time he can incorporate teaching us about that, he loves to do it,” a player told Reiss.
“It was cool for him to get a chance to teach us about the sport that we’re in, the National Football League and kind of how it started. We got to watch some old clips from football back then — the ’30s and ’40s — that I had never seen before. I didn’t know what type of offenses were run, so it was really neat to see. We even looked at high school football back then, all the way up to NFL.”
Of course, Belichick is infatuated with the history of football as the 66-year old has been in the NFL in some capacity since 1975, a tenure that is older than players on the active roster. Given that experience and knowledge, Belichick was able to instill some of that to his players on Tuesday and it seems like it made quite the impression.
“You think about it, if it was at a certain time back then, a lot of us wouldn’t be playing. We would have been drafted and fighting for our country [in World War II],” a player told Reiss. “When we do stuff like that, it’s special.”
Overall, it’s been a … dare I say … fun offseason for the Patriots, whose culture has taken a beating this offseason by the likes of Lane Johnson of the Eagles and former Pats linebacker Cassius Marsh.
Along with this trip back in time, the Patriots were also greeted by Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant at OTAs earlier this offseason, which appeared to be a big hit amongst the players. On top of that, Belichick rounded up all the players who attended the OTA session on Monday and took them to Fenway Park for a day of team bonding.
And it’s that aspect that seems to be a point of emphasis for the head coach this time of year. Having them go through those moments as a team looks to be an attempt to build some chemistry as they prepare for the 2018 season. Coupled with all of these activities, Belichick also canceled the final two OTA sessions of the offseason, dismissing the team early for their summer break.
I don’t know about you, but the Patriots look like they’re having plenty of fun this offseason.